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Policy Information

Regulation of the Tourism Sector

Published: 10 July 2019
From: Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport


The objective of a tourist accommodation regulatory structure is to help resolve any misinformation which may exist in the area of visitor accommodation. This is achieved through independent and objective assessments of tourist accommodation. This will provide consumers with a benchmark that gives them reassurance about the type of product that they are purchasing.

Regulation of Accommodation

In addition to the statutory regulation arrangements, Fáilte Ireland offers a quality assurance approval system for non-statutory tourist accommodation. This is voluntary and would include, for example, Irish home bed and breakfasts, historic houses with accommodation, and individual self-catering properties.

In addition to its regulatory function, Fáilte Ireland operates a classification system for approved tourist accommodation, which helps to differentiate each business offering to the visitor.

There are also other aspects to the regulatory environment for the tourism sector. Businesses are required to comply with the relevant regulatory frameworks of the State, including:

  • local government (example: planning, sanitary services)
  • fire services
  • building regulations
  • food hygiene regulations
  • health and safety
  • employment legislation

EU Legislation

EU and domestic legislation in other spheres has a direct impact on enterprises that are central to the tourism industry, for example the range of legislation pertaining to air travel or coach tour operators.

Read more in Chapter 3 of People, Place and Policy - Growing Tourism to 2025

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